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Inmate accidentally released from the Berkeley County Jail is still on the run

Inmate accidentally released from the Berkeley County Jail is still on the run

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC -
On Monday officials from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said 26-year old Neely Blanchard is still on the run and the search for her is ongoing.  Investigators did not want to comment on exactly how the incident happened, pending an internal investigation.

This isn't the first time for at the Hill Finklea Detention Center.  James Sanders who was arrested on Domestic Violence charges walked out of the Jail in January of 2012.

While he was out Cameras caught him strolling through the Medical University in Charleston. He was caught a month later in Myrtle Beach after a petty larceny arrest and brought back to Berkeley County.

As for Neely Blachard's release the fallout if any has yet to be determined.  State Law Enforcement in Columbia (SLED) tells News 2 they are not investigating the Blanchard incident at the jail, saying possible criminal wrong doing would have had to occur before SLED agents get involved.

Police are using all resources to locate Neely Blanchard who was awaiting trial on charges of trespassing, disturbing school, custodial interference, conspiracy to commit custodial interference, and unlawful possession of Schedule IV narcotics.

Blanchard was stopped in May headed west on I-26 after removing her 4-year-old from Westview School.  Blanchard does not have legal custody of her child.

Officials say Blanchard's bond was revoked after a recent arrest but the revocation paperwork was never filed so a local bondsman was able to bail her out.  Police say Blanchard has given addresses in Kentucky and Florida so authorities are having a hard time pinpointing where she may be.


Berkeley County will be conducting an internal investigation to find out exactly how Blanchard was released.


Laree Hensley is the attorney for the child's grandmother, Meredith Griffin.

"She has on at least two occasions admitted to police that she stayed down the street from my client's house so that she could follow my client to know where the child was going to school," Hensley said.

Hensley says that they believe the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office has responded appropriately after the mistake.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.

 

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